A new frog species has been identified, thanks to the confirmed, and “very odd” call by Jeremy Feinberg, and team. His team, who led the discovery and the research in New York City, based out of Rutgers University, made the first frog discovery in almost 30 years. Believe it or not, it’s been nearly 30 years since the last frog was identified in the region, and this frog, which was located living in the wetlands in New York City, are just the unique find that the team was looking for all along.
Genetic experts were ultimately what had to confirm the find, but Feinberg had a hunch along the way that he was on to something special. He went on to explain that his curiosity was struck when he heard a frog call that he hadn’t heard before. “Frogs have very stereotyped calls within a species, so I knew this was different,” he explained.
The frog is named Rana Kauffeldi and it’s a leopard frog that is believed to have inhabited Manhattan previously.
However, the team believes that it’s entirely possible that individuals who might have seen this frog previously would have mistaken it for another frog that is already well-known in the region and a member of a similar-looking species. The frogs’ spots are easily identifiable, and there are obvious similarities between this frog, and the other species in the region.
However, as they tested the genetics of tissue found on the frog, it was noted that this species was entirely different than the other city-dwelling-frog. Like Feinberg said though, this find is incredibly rare. This is the first frog to be discovered north of Mexico since 1986. That though, is not to be overshadowed by the fact that this frog was also found in an incredibly urban area. Natural discoveries are not frequently made in cities with populations in the millions, and natural ground shrinking by the day.
Don’t get too excited about seeing a new frog in New York the next time you’re on vacation though. He went on to explain that “[These frogs] probably require wetland areas of something on the average minimum of 10 acres or more.” In other areas around the world though, frogs are actually in a race against time to be identified before they become extinct. In other places like Madagascar, conservationists are working incredibly hard to continue identifying all of the species that exist before they don’t anymore.